A brain tumor is abnormal cells forming anywhere within the brain, normally affecting an older dog. Most of these tumors are found to be malignant and can develop strictly on the brain or can be metastasized from other parts of the body. Causes of a brain tumor in your dog can vary, with seizures as the usual first noticeable symptom. There are options for treatment depending on the severity and location of the tumor.
According to Petmd.com and the Natural Dog Health Remedies website, there is no definitive cause of brain tumors in dogs. Veterinarians, however, suspect that some of the causes may be pesticides, genetics, trauma to the head, and exposure to radiation, electromagnetic fields, environmental, chemicals, immune deficiency as well as dietary effects.
Vetinfo.com states that the symptoms depend on the actual location of the tumor in the brain. A different part of the brain works to control thinking, motor function, balance and coordination. Each part of the brain affects your dog differently, exhibiting various symptoms of a brain tumor, such as a loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, disorientation, lethargy, head tilting, seizures and other abnormal behaviors you may notice in your dog.
Diagnosing a brain tumor may include visible clinical signs per the symptoms, a computed tomography (CT) scan and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, a tissue biopsy, X-rays and an ultrasound.
The tumor may be removed surgically, depending upon its location. Tumors on the brain surface can be removed successfully. If the tumor is deeper within the brain, the surgery can be a little more risky and the recovery period will be harder on your dog. Your veterinarian may then follow the surgery with some chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may be a necessary treatment if your dog’s brain tumor is inoperable. Radiation can stop the growth and possibly shrink the tumor. There are also some medications available that may aid in slowing the tumor growth and coping with side effects.
According to Petmd.com, because of the unknown causes, it is difficult to prevent brain tumors. Once your dog has been treated, it will be important to keep up with regular follow-up doctor visits and monitor your dog for any future symptoms and complications. Since the prognosis of a brain tumor is not very good, your veterinarian will advise you as to the measures you can take to provide the best quality of life that your dog may have left. The last thing you want is for your favorite canine to go through life with any type of suffering.